Kozhikode is also Known as Calicut was once the capital of the powerful zamorins, a prominent trade and commerce center and the land of the Malabar Mahotsavam, Today, ancient monuments, lush green countryside, serene beaches, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience make this district a much sought after destination. Unexplored, unspoiled, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises of enchanting holiday options…
Places of Interest in Kozhikode
Kolavipalam Beach: This beach also known as the 'Turtle Beach' is located south of the Murad River. The turtles that frequent the beach are no ordinary turtle; these are the famous Olive Ridley turtles. The turtle season is in September.
Kirtads: This unique museum houses the tools and devices used by the ancient tribal communities of Kerala and is just 7kms from the district. A good library with books on Anthropology and Sociology is an added attraction.
Peruvannamuzhi Hill Station: This Hill Station is 60 km from Kozhikode, the peruvannamuzhi dam site set amid hills is a beautiful picnic spot. The reservoir here provides facilities for speedboat and row boat cruises. Uninhabited island, a bird sanctuary and a crocodile farm add to the charm of the place.
Vadakara: Vadakara boasts a great martial tradition and was a flourishing trade and commerce centre in ancient times. This place is 48 km from Kozhikode and is the birthplace of Thacholi Othenan - the legendary hero of the Vadakkanpattu (ballads of North Malabar).
Beypore Beach: The boat-building yard here is famous for the construction of the Uru (the Arabian trading vessel), which boasts a tradition of over1500 years. This Beach is 10 km south of Kozhikode town at the mouth of the Chaliyar River, Beypore one of the prominent ports and fishing harbors of ancient Kerala, was an important trade and maritime centre. Beypore was much sought after by merchants from Western Asia for its ship building industry.
Planetarium: The Kozhikode (Calicut) planetarium at the city's jaffarkhan colony offers extensive insight into the mysteries of the universe the planets and the galaxies.
Pazhassiraja Museum: The museum and the art gallery are named after the great Pazhassiraja Kerala Varma of the Padinjare Kovilakom of the Kottayam royal family. A veritable treasure trove for historians and connoisseurs of art, the Pazhassiraja Museum is located in Kozhikode - the land of spices, which lured navigators from time immemorial down to the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498. The Art Gallery adjacent to the museum displays the acclaimed paintings of Kerala's cherished artists, Raja Ravi Varma (1848 - 1906) whose works brought international repute to the State and his uncle Raja Raja Varma.
Tali Temple: This Temple is a fine example of the total integration that can exist between wood and laterite, which is a remarkable feature of the Kerala style of architecture. Built by Swamy Thirumulpad in 14th century, the Zamorin, within his palace complex. This temple was the venue of Revathy Pattathanam, the annual cultural and intellectual event.
Buddha Vihar: The Budha Vihar situated at Customs Road near south beach of Kozhikode is a marked example of the presence of Budhists in Kozhikode. There is a good collection of writings on Budha.
Kappad beach: The stretch of sand is not so wide but clean and lined with a canopy of coconut palms. The sight of the coconut palms silhouetted against the evening sky is bound to bring out the photographer in any tourist. Kappad also has a stone monument installed on the spot where Vasco Da Gama landed.
Kozhikode beach: A spot not to be missed here is the two piers which are reputed to be more than a century old. There is an aquarium, a towering light house as well as a lion’s park in the beach.
Mananchira: The Mananchira square is more or less the icon of Kozhikode. The royal chira (tank) originally belonged to King Mana Vikrama. Today, there is a whole complex outside the tank in which there are buildings like the Commonwealth Trust Factory, Town Hall, Lalitakala Academy Hall, the Jama’atpalli Mosque, the Mucchandipalli Mosque, the Kuttichera tank etc. The Jama’atpalli Mosque is reputed to be the one with the largest floor area in Kerala. The ‘Manamchira Maidanam’ or ground is still used today for various festivals.
Sweet Meat Street (Midhayitheruvu): As the name suggests, rows of shops displaying halwa (a sweet) of different colors-red, yellow, black and green and other sweetmeats can be found here, besides many others. The Midhayitheruvu is also a part of the identity of the city.
CVN Kalari Sangam: The centre has produced some very famous Kalari exponents. The centre, located at Nadakavu, is dedicated to one of the most spectacular of martial art forms of Kerala, Kalaripayattu. Tourists can watch live demonstrations of the art, which involves the sword and supreme agility.
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary: Bird lovers can have a blast at the Kadalundi Sanctuary, which is home to a host of local as well as migratory birds. The feathered visitors include terns, gulls, herons, sandpipers and more.
Thusharagiri waterfalls: The area also has a bird sanctuary and a crocodile farm. If you want to do something a bit more ‘wild,’ you can make a visit to one of the uninhabited islands here. The Thusharagiri Waterfalls is as beautiful as its name. Nearby the waterfall are plantations of spices, ginger and pepper. A drive through one of these is bound to be an exhilarating experience. The Peruvannamuzhi dam and its surrounding areas also make for a good picnic spot; fresh air, greenery, walks through the forests, you can have all this and more here. The best way to drink in the beauty around would be to take a slow boat cruise along the reservoir. Kakkayam also has a dam; the site around the dam is ideal for trekking and rock climbing.
Kunjali Marakkar’s residence: The person Kunjali Murakkar was a naval captain of the kings of yore and is known for his valor. He led and won many battles against the Portuguese. Infuriated by his consistent victories, the Portuguese played a devious trick on him and had him beheaded in Goa. After the killing Kunjali Murakkar, they did something even more gruesome; they brought the head over to Kozhikode and displayed it on a pole. The house today contains the sword, cannon etc. used by Marakakar.
Mishkal Masjid: The structure of the Mosque was originally a splendid affair, with four storeys supported by wooden pillars. The Masjid, located at Kuttichira, is one of the oldest mosques in the whole of Kerala. It was built by a trader named Mishkal, after whom it has been named. The mosque however was burned down by the Portugese; the only thing standing today is the charred remains.
Things to Do
- Take a walk along the streets of Thekkeppuram, the western part of Kozhikode, which is not a tourist spot per se. Here you might be able to learn more about traditional Kerala architecture, customs and traditions from one of these houses than from a museum. The area is one of the oldest in the city; some of the houses here are nearly 500 years old. These houses are also simply huge, containing antique furniture and 30-40 rooms inside, each with a specific purpose.
- The sight of the dolphins jumping and playing about in the early morning sun is just wonderful. Watch the frolicking dolphins at dolphin’s point, near the Kozhikode beach.
- Take a houseboat cruise down the network of backwaters of the Kallai River and the Canoli Canal.
- You can also catch glimpses of rafts passing by, made of timber logs tied together. Watch the sunset from the bridge over the Kallai River.
Location: Calicut is located in the Northern Kerala, bordered by Wayanad, Kannur and Malappuram. Kozhikode is 181 km from Kochi, 382 km from Thiruvananthapuram and 102 km from Thrissur.
Climate: Being a sea-side town, Kozhikode experiences a pleasant climate all through the year.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Kozhikode would be between November and February. The Malabar Shopping festival commences on the third week of December, so one can make the programme accordingly.
How to Reach Kozhikode/Calicut
By Air: Kozhikode (Calicut) has an airport at Karipur.
By Rail: Kozhikode is served by a number of costal trains and several passenger trains.
By Road: A well-built network of roads connects Kozhikode (Calicut) to the other parts of Kerala and the surrounding states and India.
By Local Transport: Various modes of local transportation like Auto Rickshaws, Deluxe Buses and taxis are easily available in Kozhikode.